Gujarat Assembly Election, Key Seats & candidates: The second phase of Gujarat elections will be held for the remaining 93 Assembly seats, for which 833 candidates of nearly 60 political parties, including the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), its traditional challenger Congress and the third player and new entrant Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) and Independents are in fray.
The high-voltage campaigning for the second phase of elections ended on Saturday evening with candidates and political parties making the last ditch efforts to woo voters. The election results to the 182-member Gujarat Assembly will be announced on December 8. The first phase of the Gujarat elections, in which 89 Assembly constituencies went to polls, was held on December 1.
The 93 assembly segments that are part of the second phase of polling are spread across 14 districts of north and central Gujarat, which also include the prestigious constituencies Ahmedabad, Vadodara and Gandhinagar. Among the key constituencies that would go to the polls in the second phase include Ghatlodia, Viramgam, Gandhinagar South, among others.
Key Assembly seats and candidates in the second phase of Gujarat Elections 2022:
–Ghatlodia (Ahmedabad) – Bhupendra Patel vs Amee Yagnik vs Vijay Patel
Incumbent Gujarat Chief Minister Bhupendra Patel is contesting from the Ghatlodia Assembly seat. He won the seat in the 2017 Assembly elections by a huge margin of 1.17 lakh votes defeating Shashikant Patel. This was one of the 99 seats that were won by the BJP in 2017. The constituency, which came into existence after being carved out from Sarkhej Assembly constituency after delimitation, has witnessed only two legislative Assembly elections, in 2012 and 2017, and gave the state two CMs. In 2012, BJP’s Anandiben Patel, who later on went on to become Gujarat’s CM, defeating Congress candidate Rameshbhai Patel.
Meanwhile, in the high-profile constituency, which falls under the Gandhinagar Lok Sabha constituency, which is currently represented by home minister Amit Shah, in the 2022 elections, Bhupendra Patel will be up against Amee Yagnik of Congress and Vijay Patel of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP).
–Vadgam (SC) (Banaskantha) – Manibhai Vaghela vs Jignesh Mevani vs Dalpat Bhatiya
This Scheduled Caste reserved Vadgam constituency falls under the Patan Lok Sabha constituency. In 2017, Dalit leader Jignesh Mevani contesting as an Independent candidate defeated BJP candidate Vijaykumar Cakravarti by 19,696 votes.
In the 2022 elections, Mevani is contesting as a Congress candidate, who is up against BJP’s Manilal Vaghela and Dalpat Bhatiya of the Aam Aadmi Party. In 2017, the firebrand leader Mevani, along with Patidar leaders Hardik Patel and Alpesh Thakor was part of the young troika of the Congress that propelled the grand-old party to its best results.
-Gandhinagar South (Gandhinagar) – Alpesh Thakor vs Dr Himanshu Patel vs Dolat Patel
The Gandhinagar South constituency was carved out from the Gandhinanagr assembly constituency in 2008. Till date, it has witnessed two legislative Gujarat Assembly elections, in 2012 and 2017. The constituency has a majority population of Thakor, followed by Patidars and the third community is Dalits.
The BJP has fielded young OBC leader Alpesh Thakor, while Congress has fielded Himanshu Patel, its spokesperson and Patidar leader, and the AAP has nominated Dolat Patel who is also a Patidar, in the 2022 Gujarat elections.
In 2017, BJP’s Shambhuji Chelaji Thakor won the second time from Gandhinagar South after defeating Congress’ Govind Hiraji Solanki with a margin of over 11,000 votes. In 2012, Shambuji defeated Congress’ Sureshkumar Chaturdas.
-Viramgam (Ahmedabad) – Hardik Patel vs Lakhabhai Bharwad vs Kuvarji Thakor
Interestingly, the Viramgam assembly constituency, which is part of the Ahmedabad district, is considered to be immune of caste politics, as it has been represented by leaders from different castes, and religions.
For the 2022 elections, the BJP has fielded firebrand Patidar leader Hardik Patel, the 29-year-old is a native of Chandranagar village of Viramgam taluka. Hardik Patel, who is one of the party’s star campaigners, switched from the Congress to BJP in June. He faces his maiden Assembly election against Congress MLA Lakhabhai Bharwad and Amarsinh Thakor who is the AAP candidate.
From the constituency, famous Dalit activist Kirit Rathod is also fighting from the constituency as an Independent candidate.
In the 2017 Assembly elections, Bharwad had defeated BJP’s Tejashre Patel by a margin of over 6,500 votes.
–Deodar (Banaskantha) – Keshaji Chauhan vs Shuvaji Bhuriya vs Bhemabhai Choudhary
Deodar Assembly constituency falls under the Banaskantha Lok Sabha constituency. The candidate to watch out for from the constituency is AAP Gujarat vice-president Bhemabhai Chaudhary, who has been associated with the party since its launch in Gujarat. He will be contesting against Keshaji Shivaji Chauhan of the BJP and Bhemabhai Ragnathbhai Chaudhary from the Congress.
In the 2017 elections, Congress’ Bhuriya Shivabhai Amrabhai won by defeating BJP’s Chauhan Keshaji Shivaji with a margin of 972 votes.
-Bechraji (Mahesana) – Sukhaji Thakor vs Bhopaji Thakor vs Sagar Rabari
The candidate to watch out for from the constituency is farmer activist and former secretary of Khedut Samaj Gujarat (KSG) Sagar Rabari, who joined AAP in 2021. He claims that he is joining a “political party for the first time in his 37 years of work” ahead of 2022 Assembly elections. The 53-year-old leader is currently the founding president of Khedut Ekta Manch.
In the 2017 Gujarat elections, Becharaji was one of 77 seats won by Congress. Its candidate Thakor Bharatji Sonaji won the election upstaging BJP’s Patel Rajnikant Somabhai by a margin of 15,811 votes.
-Jetpur (ST) (Chhota Udepur) – Jayantibhai Rathwa vs Sukhrambhai Rathwa vs Radhika Amarsinh Rathva
Jetpur is one of the 182 assembly constituencies in Gujarat and is situated in the Chhota Udepur district. In the last five major elections, BJP has won four times against Congress from the constituency.
The BJP has fielded Jayantibhai Savjibhai Rathwa while Sukhram Rathava is the Congress candidate. The third player AAP has fielded Radhika Rathava as its candidate.
The candidate to watch out for the constituency is Congress’ Sukhram Rathava, who is the leader of Opposition in the Gujarat Assembly.
In the 2017 elections, Congress’ Rathva Sukhrambhai Hariyabhai won by defeating Rathva Jayantibhai Savajibhai of the BJP with a margin of 3,052 votes.